So basically, this all started when NVIDIA released plans of the future about developing motherboard chipsets that will support Intel's new Core i7 Nehalem architecture. Intel tried to talk NVidia out of going with this plan, but NVidia kept its plan and began the development of a new motherboard chipset that would let NVIDIA fans use Core i7 processors on NVIDIA chipsets, allowing the fans to hold the power of the Core i7 and Tri-SLI GPU's.
However, Intel did not want NVIDIA to go on with the plans, and took this case to court, saying that NVIDIA does not have the license to create chipsets that support Intel's new QPI (QuickPath Interconnect) system and integrated memory-controller technology. But NVidia says that they have a few-years old license that allows them to do the exact thing.
But what's really the issue here? It's really just Intel trying to hold its advantage, among other things. Currently, only Intel's X58 motherboard chipset supports Intel's incredibly powerful Corei7 Nehalem processors. Basically, Intel has a sort of a monopoly going on in the Core i7 industry, because they develop and manufacture both the processors and the motherboards that work together.
Now, NVidia wants a piece of the cake. In the past years, NVIDIA has successfully developed chipsets that supported the Core2 series of processors (680i, 780i, 790i Ultra, among others), and they have been extremely popular, competing well against Intel's own chipsets (P35, X48, P45, etc) .). And now, Intel has unleashed a processor that outperforms many of the Core 2 processors that cost a lot more than the Core i7 processors. NVidia is definitely hungry for a large piece of this new series of processors, and is now trying to do the same thing it succeeded in doing during the reign of the Core2 processors.
So, here's the summary of what Intel would lose if NVidia succeeds in developing their new chipset:
1. Intel would lose the advantage of saying that their X5 motherboards that support Core i7 processors
2. Intel will no longer be able to have an edge over NVIDIA with the Core i7 and X58 motherboard, because NVIDIA will be able to create chipsets that allow both Core i7 and Tri-SLI graphics cards to work in unison. X58 motherboards only support up to SLI.